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How to Lead with Passion and Purpose

Sign which reads "Good News is Coming"

Last year was a horrible year. Despite those of us trying to make the best of the pandemic to regroup and spend more time with family, no one appreciates self-isolating at home for a year (there is only so much Netflix you can watch).

We want to go out. We want to travel. We want to hug somebody.

Instead, we have been at home, thinking.

There has been a lot of time to reflect - is this really where I want to be in my career, in my life? Many of us have taken this time to make big changes, such as moving family across the world or leaving a job (by redundancy or by choice).

But many people are still thinking and contemplating what to do next. How to live better, how to lead better.

Fortunately (hopefully), this time is slowly coming to an end. Vaccines are starting to be issued across the globe, meaning now is the time to act.

Purpose over profit

This year will become the year for change.

Values have shifted during this crisis, impacting how the world reacts. KPMG recently published a CEO Outlook which surveyed 1,300 CEOs in January and then again in August outlining that their thinking has shifted away from profit to consider purpose with "79% saying they have had to re-evaluate their purpose as a result of Covid-19".

Like the many CEOs surveyed, individuals are also redefining their roles with a focus on purpose-driven work and leading with passion. We all want to lead a more purposeful life, but it can be somewhat difficult to start. Mainly because it is quite different from the way we have been working for the past century.

Therefore, in order to navigate this new way of leading, you must first identify your passion.

Here are the top 5 tips for uncovering your passion and leading more effectively and more purposefully:

1. Write down your values. What are the things you care about most? Figuring out your passion needs to start with your values, so identifying these is the first step. Be honest with yourself. If you care about money, there is no shame in that – equally, if you want to have a healthier work/life balance then ensure you make a note.

2. Note your favourite activities. Start analyzing your life – what are the things that make you the happiest? Do you enjoy walking in the woods, or shopping in Selfridges? Work takes up an extraordinary amount of time, so it is important that you are clear on what types of things you’d like your day to be filled with.

3. Figure out what you are good at. Typically, we are better at things that we like to do, so start by critiquing your leadership activities and list out the things that you are truly exceptional at. If you get stuck, ask a friend or an honest colleague who might have a more objective view.

4. Stay true to yourself. Do not fall into the trap of identifying values you think you should hold dear. Ensure they are really values you value. If you put sustainability as a key value but are rarely seen using the recycling bin then it’s time to adjust. Be honest. No one is looking.

5. Prioritize. It is important that you prioritize this list to truly identify your passion. In an ideal world it would be amazing to align your work to your top priority, but even adjusting your leadership style to fit some of your values on your list will make a huge difference to the way you lead – and ultimately your own happiness and success.

This year will be a great year. A year for positive change. We all want to grab life by the horns, and we are now more prepared than ever before to do it effectively.

But you must be considerate. Rather than make the mistakes of generations past through challenging times, let us all lead by example and lead by passion. For passion is what will truly guide the next generation in the future.